Are you playing from behind or protecting a lead?

Football Coach on the Sidelines

There is just under one third of the year left, and like a coach standing on the sidelines with 5 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, there is still time on the clock, but if you want to make a change to the scoreboard you need to start now. Are you making adequate progress toward your goals? What changes do you need to make in order to make more progress the in the next 4 months than you have in the last 8?

If you find yourself somewhat behind your plans it might be a good idea to pause briefly to assess your progress, re-frame your goals and make a plan for success.

What’s the score?

The first thing the coach is going to do is to look up at the scoreboard, and take stock.. Are we winning or losing? How are we doing in different phases of the game? It may be tempting to look at all the places where you are behind, but are there areas where you’ve made good progress or even blown your goals away? Take a minute to feel good about those areas where you are making progress — they offer you some clues to help you make more progress elsewhere. What made that progress possible? How was your attitude or efforts different in those areas where you made progress?

Are these goals still relevant?

No coach goes into a game thinking, “Let’s try to hold it to 5 turnovers or less,” but sometimes that’s where they are two-thirds of the way through the game. In your business a lot can change in 8 months. Looking back at the goals you’ve set, are they still things you are strongly committed to? Do you have a vivid picture of how accomplishing that goal will make your business and life different? If not you may need to reconsider that goal, or re-frame your commitment to it. How can you win with the hand you’ve been dealt?

Plan for success.

Going into the fourth quarter your options are more narrow. If you’re playing from behind you can’t run on every down, you need to get more aggressive. The same is true with your goals. Narrow things down to just those things that you are committed to, that will make a huge difference for you. Then make a concrete plan for the next several months. What are you going to change about what you are doing to make more progress on those goals? If nothing ever changes, then nothing ever changes.

As the clock on 2011 winds down your options for achieving your goals get narrower and narrower, let’s not wait until the two-minute warning to make changes you may need to make in order to make 2011 a winning year. What changes are you making to make the next 4 months different from the last?

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